Monday, March 1, 2010

The Art Box – Mar. 1, 2010

blog pictures 006This was our art box for the past two weeks with an occasional sneaking in of something extra.  We started off with a muffin tin filled with collage items (I got this wonderful idea from A Mom Learning More Everyday in this post) – pom poms, tissue paper scraps, foam stickers, googley eyes, and a tiny amount of left over red glitter.  Also, in the box, various papers, a styrofoam tray, tempera paint, watercolor paints, craft sticks, stencils, glue, and oil pastels.

M started off with, what else, the stencils.  Sigh.  Stencils do not seem open-ended-artsy to me for a 3 year old, although neither does a paint with water book, and goodness knows I’ve let him do plenty of those in return for a half hour of peace.  M really loves stencils and lately it’s the first thing he goes for or asks for if there aren’t any in the box.  Several of you brilliant mommies out there reminded me that he is probably so interested in them because he wants to master the technique and he’s learning how it all works.  Thank you for that; it never occurred to me, and now I see it in a completely different light and I’m ok with stenciled trucks and animals papering our walls.  For now.

Here is the art work M has produced in the past couple of weeks, (minus an awesome textured painting that daddy stole and took to work before I was able to take a picture of it)… blog pictures 010

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A late valentine especially for me. :)  Apparently once red glitter is used for making valentines it isn’t possible to think of anything else to make with it.

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This is M’s take on crayon resist painting.  Draw a line all around your paper then carefully paint right over it.  He said he was making mazes. :)

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He was really interested in the craft sticks this time and I actually had to get more for him.  He started off by deciding to make a square, and then when he saw that two together make a longer line, he decided to make a rectangle (you can’t imagine how proud I was at this moment).  Then he decorated it:

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Then he painted some and made a house:

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Here’s a rainbow made with watercolors.  There is a stream in there too and some little animals. :)

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We bought a giant coloring book with simple farm animal pictures in it.  To our great surprise there was a page of giant stickers in the front of the book.  So we taped up a giant piece of paper (2’ x 3’!) and he made a farm animal sticker collage:

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Link up your kids’ fun art projects below…

and have a beautiful day! :)


  1. I love the idea of using a muffin tin to organize collage items. I jsut throw stuff on the table in different containers but this seems much more organized and easy.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. If you're not directing him on how to use the stencils I'd say it's open ended. Think of all the ways he could use it to make a picture. Especially if they're shape stencils. He could use all of those shapes to make cool pictures.
    Okay, kid crying upstairs better go find out what they've done to their sister.

  3. Wow! You got a lot of art projects done over the past two weeks! Fun stuff! I love the creativity with the craft sticks. And I remember when C used to make "mazes" all the time! I had forgotten about that.

  4. M is always so creative with his art box :)

  5. Hi pleasecould yuo tell me more about the art box idea? Do you just put art stuff in a box and let him decide what to do? We do lots of art stuff but I usually direct it. But I like the look of your idea here

  6. Hi Fiona,

    Here's the link to my first art box post, before it turned into a link-up carnival -

    Matthew was just a bit over 3 at this point, and we were doing a lot of art projects together, but I wanted to give him a bit more freedom (some freedom for myself too, to be honest) with his art. At first he thought I had something planned for all the things in his little box, and I had to explain over and over that he could think of something on his own and I would help him. He really enjoyed himself once he understood that.

    Sometimes, depending on what he wants to do I'll stay to help or supervise, but the ideas are always his own. I will suggest things to him (if he's at a loss but wants to do *something*), like using a white crayon or oil pastel to draw on white paper, then using watercolors to paint over it and make the picture appear.

    I change up the items once a week and use a variety of things... you can look through the art box posts to see what we've used and to check out what other moms have done.

    The art box comes out at least once a week, usually quite a bit more, but it depends on the week and what else we have going on.

    I hope that helps!! A lot of what he does is just basic experimenting to see what things do and how to use them. Younger kids would do this too, I think, and would need closer supervision. Older kids will probably be able to think of something first and see how they could go about creating it.

    Thank you so much for your comment!

  7. You know my guy loves stencils too. You actually started it with the animal ones you sent us. The Popsicle sticks are cute. I was thinking he should put stickers in it to make it look like a barn. Fun!

  8. Hi, thanks for these tips. I am unable to open the link though x

  9. Awesome week, Nicole! Maybe M loves stencils so much because he can actually create something that looks like something, you know. I have to find some stencils for Anna to try out too - she might find it interesting! I love his palm tree - very pretty. And we definitely have our fair share of mazes here.

  10. I think the stencils are pretty, and I love the mazes! And, wow, great discovery for him to make with the craft sticks!


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